Birkman Personality Test
The Birkman Personality Test often referred to as the Birkman Method, is an extensive psychological examination designed to help employers assess a candidate’s personality traits. A good score on the Birkman test could establish you as a reliable employee within a new workplace, while a sub-optimal score may prevent you from being hired in the first place.
If you want the tips and tricks necessary to get the best result, there is no better option than Prepterminal’s Birkman prep course.
Our course will help you:
- Understand the concepts covered by the Birkman Personality Test
- Get practice with real test material
- Show you the shortcuts you need to get the best possible results
- Gain the confidence to pass the exam with ease
First, let’s take a look at what the Birkman test is and what purpose it serves.
What is the Birkman Method Personality Test?
The Birkman test was developed in the early 1950s by Dr. Roger Birkman to function as a measurement instrument for various personality traits. By analyzing social expectations, stress behavior, and occupational interests, Dr. Birkman created what he initially called the “Test of Social Comprehension.” The test came to be known by several names, usually the Birkman Method or Birkman Test.
The test has been extensively studied, and it’s been proven that participants saw a significant improvement in self-awareness. This meant that their self-reported test answers tended to be accurate, and led to an increased perception of real-life behaviors.
Who uses the Birkman test?
Employers use the Birkman test to find the occupational preferences of candidates and determine what personal behaviors they will bring to the workplace. The assessment provides insights into how a person would react to various common scenarios and lets business owners understand what choices an employee would make when met with work-related stress.
Major corporations like JP Morgan Chase and Coca-Cola use personality tests like the Birkman Method and have found several hiring benefits, including
- Drastically reducing employee turnover rates
- Determining future leadership candidates
- Increasing cognitive diversity
- Finding the relationships between personality and performance
How is the Birkman Test Structured?
The Birkman Personality Test is broken down into four distinct categories: Interests, Usual Styles/Behavior, Needs, and Stressors.
The Interests section of the test will show what level of motivation you have in various roles and tasks found within the workplace. These can cover a variety of concepts, and questions can relate to numerals, creativity, and persuasive speech. Depending on your answers, employers can see which subjects you are more adept at and which you struggle with.
Usual Styles/ Behavior
Usual styles/behavior questions will determine how you perceive certain situations, and what level of comfortability you have in a given scenario. This section will let employers know what requirements you have to function properly within the workplace and what may be necessary to place you in the most productive possible environment. It will also show what scenarios cause you to fall into stress behaviors and how best to avoid those triggers.
The Needs section will assess how you perceive yourself, your behavior, and your reactions to certain stimuli. How you approach various tasks, manage professional relationships, and contribute to your workplace will affect your score in this particular part of the Birkman test. This section also helps determine overall productivity and how your self-perception affects your ability to be efficient.
Stressors, or stress behaviors, are defined as your reaction to overwhelming situations or how your work is affected when your personal needs are not met. These are behaviors an employer wants to avoid, and will therefore use these results to help determine whether the work environment is conducive to your personality.
Birkman Practice Test: Sample Questions with answers
The questions on the Birkman assessment are mostly true-false, though there are multiple-choice ones as well. There are 298 questions total, and you will usually not be given a time limit for completion. As with most personality exams, there is no one correct answer to any questions. But you can intentionally choose responses that will boost your personality results and make you appear like the best possible candidate for a position.
Our prep course will take you through the concepts and show you what the best approach would be. To give you a sample of the course, let’s briefly look at a few Birkman test practice questions.
Birkman Assessment Sample Question #1
“I don’t hold grudges.”
While some questions will require you to think about the industry you are applying for, this one is simple enough to decipher. Someone who holds grudges will likely be more prone to stress behaviors and does not have reasonable needs an employer can meet. Therefore, selecting “No” would hurt your chances of scoring well in those quadrants. So the best answer here is Yes.
Birkman Assessment Sample Question #2
“I always look to try something that I’ve never experienced before.”
As opposed to the previous question, this example contains a statement with positive behavior. Being open to new experiences is a trait many employers want to see, and answering in the affirmative here would likely help you score more in “green” on the Birkman color chart (explained below). Therefore, the best answer is Yes.
Birkman Assessment Sample Question #3
“I am the one that calls the shots.”
Questions like this can be a bit confusing, as taking charge may be seen as a trait one looks for in a leader or action-oriented employee. Answering yes on this may increase your “red” score but may also show you are less likely to follow instructions. Depending on your industry, it's possible that calling the shots could be beneficial. But for most entry-level positions, the correct answer here would be No.
Interpreting Birkman Results: How are the Results Scored
Once you’ve finished your Birkman test, an evaluator will review your answers and place you on the lifestyle grid. The lifestyle grid is a four-color quadrant graph that represents the four sections of the test. This grid is split into the Birkman Colors: red, green, blue, and yellow.
Each color in the Birkman lifestyle grid represents a different set of personality traits. Scoring more highly in one section rather than another lets a company know what type of employee you will be, and help them make a better hiring decision.
Being placed further into the red quadrant implies you are a person of action, high-energy, and an achiever of practical results. Red candidates are good at making quick decisions and working towards a single overarching objective. They are more likely to spend the majority of their time on execution rather than planning.
Those who score further into the green quadrant are better with persuasion and adept at communicating with coworkers, customers, and management. Green candidates like working with others and are great at motivating and influencing those around them. They are competitive, like variations in their workday, and are excited to try new things within the workplace.
Scoring highly in the blue quadrant of the Birkman test implies you have a creative mind and like to focus on innovation and new ideas. Blue candidates are usually wrapped up in the conceptual stages of a project, crafting long-term planning strategies and reflecting after a job is completed. Those with higher blue scores are problem solvers and like to find new paths to navigate old issues.
Yellow candidates are the organizational backbone of a workplace. They are experts with procedures, system structure, and results-based repetition. Those who score highly in the yellow quadrant are analytical and like to be thorough in both planning and execution. They are insistent on the structure and tend to be very task-oriented.
A Birkman map is simply another version of the lifestyle grid and Birkman colors. Your test answers will be distributed amongst the same four colors, and different symbols will be placed upon the map to show your score within the four Birkman sections.
Asterisk (*): This symbol will represent how you scored on the “interests” section and shows what activities you enjoy doing.
Diamond (◊): The diamond is used to show your usual behaviors and indicates what quadrant your strengths lie within.
Circle (○): This symbol will be used to show what areas your needs like within and how you will treat your coworkers and workplace.
Square (□): The square is used to represent stressors and will show what will happen if your needs are not met.
How to Prepare for the Birkman Personality Test?
Our comprehensive prep course is the best way to prepare for the Birkman test. At Prepterminal, we understand the importance of making a good first impression. Getting optimal results on your personality test can help you land the job you deserve, and we want to help.
Don’t risk losing a job opportunity due to a lack of preparation. Let us give you the tips and tricks you need; start our Birkman test prep course today!